The National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) Missing Person File was implemented in 1975. Records in the Missing Person File are retained indefinitely, until the individual is located or the record is canceled by the entering agency.
The National Child Search Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5779, 5780) requires law enforcement to immediately enter into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database every reported case involving a missing child. The intent of this law is to ensure that law enforcement disseminates as quickly as possible information vital to the recovery of a missing child. The steps for entering a child abduction into NCIC are critical:
Enter the information immediately—with NO delay. Law enforcement should enter a child into NCIC immediately without delay. The initial entry should be reviewed within one hour of entry into NCIC and verified as to the entry time, accuracy of the descriptive information of the victim and/or perpetrator, vehicle used in the abduction, and other information that could help law enforcement apprehend the perpetrator. (Information about the perpetrator should also be entered in the Wanted Person File if a warrant is issued, and the records should be linked.) Unfortunately, in some cases data about an abducted child was not entered into NCIC until hours and even days after the child’s disappearance. Such delays can have disastrous consequences.
Use the proper NCIC category. Child abduction cases should be entered into the NCIC Missing Person File in either the endangered or the involuntary category, and the child abduction (CA) flag should be entered. An NCIC number will be automatically assigned when the record is entered. The reporting agency should assign a case or originating agency case (OCA) number to the preliminary or initial investigation. Each entry of a child age 17 or under should be reviewed to ensure that the information has been entered into the appropriate category. NCIC will then send an immediate notification to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC call center staff will get in contact with the appropriate law enforcement agency to conduct the intake of the case and offer all available resources. The designated supervisor should also audit each entry within one hour of the initial entry to verify and authenticate each record, signature, and time.
NCIC MISSING PERSON FILE CATEGORY/AGE/SEX/RACE 2007
18 AND OLDER
* Includes Hispanic
Source: NCIC Active/Expired Missing and Unidentified Analysis Reports